Somalia famine ‘worst I have ever seen’: aid chief

ROME — The plight of children escaping from famine in Somalia is “the worst I have ever seen,” the head of the UN’s World Food Programme said on Monday following emergency talks on the crisis in Rome.

By (AFP)

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Published: Mon 25 Jul 2011, 6:26 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 10:18 PM

“What we’re mainly concerned about is the state of the children,” Josette Sheeran told reporters, after visiting the Somali capital Mogadishu and the Dadaab camp in northern Kenya where hundreds of thousands of starving Somalis have fled.

“What we saw is children who are arriving so weak that many of them are in stage four malnutrition and have little chance — less than 40 percent chance — of making it,” Sheeran said.

“We also heard from women who had to leave babies along the road and make the horrifying choice of saving the stronger for the weaker or those who had children die in their arms,” she added.

“These children are extremely weak. It is the worst I have ever seen.”

The Rome-based WFP has said it will start airlifting food aid on Tuesday into Mogadishu, as well as to the Ethiopian town of Dolo on the border with Somalia and to the drought-stricken town of Wajir in northern Kenya.

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